Monday, October 22, 2012
Pocket Books/July 31, 2012
Picking up a small pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee’s life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead—murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well—but the shoe itself told him so.
Tessa’s death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack’s life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind him and found a semblance of peace.
That is, until the government blackmails him. Helping the military contain the aftermath of a bizarre experiment gone violently wrong, everything Jackson knows about himself will change just as suddenly as it did with his little sister’s shoe.
And while change is constant...It’s never for the better.
All Seeing Eye is a departure from Thurman's Cal Leandros series with the evil element human in nature, no werewolves, goblins or vampires here. What is familiar is the self-deprecating, smartass humorous attitude of the narrator, Jackson Lee.
Through Jackson we see how his childhood was not idyllic but he did have a few bright spots, one of them being his little sister, Tessa. After Tessa's death, Jack's life leads him to learning the art of survival at all cost. Eventually Jack builds a life for himself and surrounds himself with only a couple of close friends. I liked seeing how Jackson grew from his tragic past but didn't completely leave it behind. With his psychic ability he really couldn't so instead he uses his talents and creates a haven of sorts for himself. And he guards that haven intensely.
As Jackson gets caught up in the military experiment we see him changing how he views others and how he comes to view his past. He has a very difficult time trusting anyone, having seen so much of the dark side of human nature, Jackson rarely lets anyone get close. There isn't a lot of physical action, this is more of putting the pieces of a puzzle together to get to the truth. The science behind the experiments I found interesting as well as scary. Truth is stranger than fiction and this fiction is pretty strange. Thurman keeps the plot moving forward, revealing details of the puzzle as Jackson becomes more deeply committed to finding the end result.
With Jackson's narration also comes quite a bit of internal dialogue, too much at times. Jackson is living a life far from ordinary and with his special abilities ordinary is out of his reach. So maybe that's why he spends so much time in his own head - he knows inside nearly everyone else is a scary place!
All Seeing Eye has elements of Thurman's previous novels with some interesting science and lots of what ifs to get the reader thinking. I look forward to seeing where Jackson goes next.